Western Australia in March 2010: A warm month with significant storms in the southwest

  • Above average mean maximum temperature for WA
  • Above average mean minimum temperature for WA
  • Rainfall near average for WA, but above average in the southwest
  • Severe storms in the southwest on the 21st and 22nd

Rainfall

March rainfall was below to very much below average in large parts of the Kimberley and Pilbara, as well as along the Gascoyne coast. Several sites in the Pilbara and Gascoyne registered no rainfall for the month whilst one site in the west Kimberley recorded its lowest March rainfall on record. Above to very much above average rainfall occurred in the southern Gascoyne and western parts of the Southwest Land Division (SWLD), with one site in the region recording its highest March rainfall on record. Averaged across the state, the rainfall for March 2010 was near average (see March rainfall decile map).

Low level convergence into a surface trough, combined with a mid-level trough off the WA west coast brought the first significant rainfall for the year to many locations in the southern Gascoyne and western SWLD on the 21st and 22nd. Daily rainfall of 80 mm was recorded at Cue (Gascoyne) to 9am on the 22nd, which was its second highest daily rainfall for March since records commenced in 1907, with many recordings of rainfall greater than 40 mm in the Central West and southern Gascoyne. Severe thunderstorms occurred in Perth on the afternoon of the 22nd and caused significant damage being considered as one of the worst storms in Perth's history. For more details of the severe thunderstorms in Perth, please read the storm summary. Several locations in the Perth metropolitan area and neighbouring districts recorded their highest daily rainfall for March on record to 9am on the 23rd, with widespread falls over 40 mm in the Lower West and neighbouring districts.

Some sites had their highest total March rainfall on record. Some sites had their lowest total March rainfall on record. Some sites had their highest March daily rainfall on record.

Maximum temperature

Above to very much above average mean maximum temperatures were recorded in northwest and western WA in March 2010, with up to 4 C above normal mean maxima in pockets of the inland Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne (see March maximum temperature anomaly map), whilst Learmonth in the west Pilbara and Eneabba in the Central West bioth registered their hottest March in record. Mean maximum temperatures were close to average in central and eastern WA. When averaged over the whole state, WA's mean maximum temperature for March was above average.

The month began with unusually hot conditions in western parts of WA. Many sites registered daily maximum temperatures over 40 C, and Goomaling in the Central Wheat Belt registered its highest temperature for March on record. The month finished with persistent hot days in northwest WA. Roebourne in the Pilbara registered 45.0 C on the 28th, the highest daily maximum temperature in the state for the month.

Some sites had their highest March temperature on record. Some sites had their highest March mean daily maximum temperature on record.

Minimum temperature

Above to very much above average mean minimum temperatures were recorded in the north Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne and most of the southern half of the state, with up to 3 C above normal mean minima in parts of the inland Gascoyne and Pilbara (see March minimum temperature anomaly map). Troughton Island in the north Kimberley recorded its hottest March on record in terms of minimum temperatures. When averaged over the whole state, the mean minimum temperature for WA was above average.

Several locations in the southwest registered their highest March daily minimum temperature on record on the 12th and 13th when hot easterly winds kept seabreezes at bay and very warm conditions persisted overnight. Minimum temperatures were also extremely warm in the western Kimberley in the last few days of March as Troughton Island recorded two consecutive overnight minimum temperatures of 30.0 °C between 30th and 31st, and Broome broke its highest March minimum temperature record on three consecutive nights with minima above 30°C.

Some sites had their warmest March night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record. Some sites had their highest March mean daily minimum temperature on record.

Further information

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Extremes in March 2010
Hottest day 45.0 C at Roebourne on the 28th
Warmest days on average 41.5 C at Emu Creek Station
Coolest days on average 23.2 C at Albany
Coldest day 15.2 C at Mount Barker on the 31st
Coldest night 4.0 C at Jarrahwood on the 29th
Coolest nights on average 12.6 C at Jarrahwood
Warmest nights on average 28.4 C at Bedout Island
27.4 C at Karratha Aero (mainland)
Warmest night 31.7 C at Marble Bar on the 31st
Wettest overall 196.5 mm at Theda
Wettest day 121.2 mm at Dimond Gorge on the 14th
Highest wind gust 128 km/h at Cunderdin Airfield on the 22nd

Record highest March daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in March 2010 (mm)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Pingelly 78.6 on the 23rd 67.3 on the 9th in 1934 105
Perth Airport 43.2 on the 23rd 34.2 on the 28th in 2005 66
Gosnells City 53.0 on the 23rd 36.0 on the 28th in 2005 48
Karnet 58.0 on the 23rd 50.0 on the 30th in 1997 47
Avondale Farm 64.2 on the 23rd 48.5 on the 28th in 1971 46
Mosman Park 43.4 on the 23rd 32.2 on the 12th in 1990 38
Swan View 35.8 on the 23rd 34.2 on the 12th in 1990 37



Record highest total March rainfall
Total rainfall
for March 2010 (mm)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Avondale Farm 72.6 60.7 in 1971 46 14.7




Record highest March temperature
Highest temperature
in March 2010 (C)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Goomalling 43.0 on the 1st 42.3 on the 3rd in 2008 31 30.9



Record highest March mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for March 2010 (C)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Eneabba 36.2 35.9 in 1994 35 33.4
Learmonth Airport 39.0 38.4 in 1980 35 36.3




Record highest March daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in March 2010 (C)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Broome Airport 30.5 on the 30th 29.9 on the 16th in 1983 71 25.4
Albany 21.5 on the 13th 21.3 on the 4th in 1961 67 14.6
Perth Airport 28.6 on the 12th 26.2 on the 9th in 1996 66 15.8
Pearce RAAF 28.1 on the 12th 28.0 on the 8th in 2007 52 15.9
Brookton 24.5 on the 12th 24.4 on the 9th in 1973 44 14.3
Troughton Island 30.0 on the 30th & 31st 29.3 on the 12th in 2005 32 26.4



Record highest March mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for March 2010 (C)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Troughton Island 28.4 28.0 in 1959 31 26.4



Summary statistics for March 2010
Maximum temperatures
for March
(C)
Minimum temperatures
for March
(C)
Rainfall
for March
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2010
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2010
Mean for
March
2010
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2010
Total for
March
2010
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2010
Fraction of
March
average
North Kimberley (district 01)
Kalumburu 35.1   37.5 31st 23.7   19.9 12th 118.8
Mount Elizabeth 33.9   37.0 8th 20.3   17.6 12th 96.0 153.2 average 63%
Troughton Island 33.6 +1.6 34.9 11th 28.4 +2.0 26.6 16th 0.8 126.5 v low 1%
Truscott 33.7   36.1 31st 25.8   22.8 3rd 93.0
Wyndham 37.1 +1.1 40.3 7th 26.0 +0.5 22.0 12th 43.0 155.3 low 28%
Wyndham Aero 37.3   40.0 7th 26.1   22.5 12th 56.2 149.4 low 38%
East Kimberley (district 02)
Argyle Aerodrome 35.8   39.3 8th 25.1   21.5 15th 57.2 139.1 average 41%
Halls Creek Airport 35.5 0.0 39.0 7th 22.9 +0.1 19.7 14th 70.4 76.3 average 92%
Kununurra Aero 35.6 -0.1 37.4 29th 24.4 +0.2 21.0 12th 84.6 144.9 average 58%
Warmun 35.8 -0.1 39.0 8th 24.0 +0.9 21.6 14th 74.3 116.7 average 64%
West Kimberley (district 03)
Bidyadanga 37.6 +2.3 43.0 25th 25.1 +0.2 20.2 14th 14.1 95.8 low 15%
Broome Airport 36.1 +2.2 40.7 9th 27.0 +1.6 22.5 15th 29.6 101.0 low 29%
Curtin Aero 38.2   41.3 24th 24.4   20.9 9th 56.8
Cygnet Bay 35.7 +2.0 37.5 24th 25.0 +0.5 23.0 9th 88.9 171.2 average 52%
Derby Aero 38.0 +2.9 40.8 24th 25.7 +0.7 21.7 31st 59.2 133.4 average 44%
Fitzroy Crossing Aero 39.8   42.1 29th 23.7   18.9 9th 13.6
West Roebuck 37.7   41.9 23rd 25.1   21.8 15th 76.6
De Grey (district 04)
Bedout Island 35.0   38.0 30th 28.4   27.0 4th
Karratha Aero 37.6   42.3 23rd 27.4   25.2 25th 0 52.4 lowest 0%
Legendre Island 34.4   39.0 25th 27.7   26.0 4th
Mandora 38.6 +1.6 42.5 24th 24.5 +0.6 21.0 10th 0 73.0 lowest 0%
Pardoo Station 38.6   41.5 30th 25.5   20.5 18th 0.5 63.5 low 1%
Port Hedland Airport 38.4 +1.6 42.4 23rd 26.4 +1.9 23.5 12th 16.0 48.7 average 33%
Roebourne 40.4 +2.8 45.0 28th 26.5 +1.2 23.5 6th 3.4 64.8 average 5%
Roebourne Aero 39.9   44.3 28th 26.5   22.7 25th 1.0
Fortescue (district 05)
Barrow Island Airport 34.3   38.5 25th 26.3   23.3 9th 0.6
Learmonth Airport 39.0 +2.7 43.0 6th 23.3 +0.4 21.0 28th 0 40.4 lowest 0%
Mardie 38.8 +1.2 44.3 29th 25.6 +1.5 24.1 9th 2.6 50.7 average 5%
Onslow 36.0 +0.6 43.0 29th 25.4 +2.1 22.9 31st 0 49.2 lowest 0%
Onslow Airport 37.4 +1.4 42.8 5th 25.1 +1.1 22.7 31st 0 74.8 lowest 0%
Thevenard Island 34.4   40.6 24th 25.8   23.2 18th 0.2
Tom Price 37.7   40.5 5th 22.1   16.6 15th 10.0 62.0 low 16%
Wittenoom 39.6 +2.9 42.7 28th 25.9 +1.6 22.5 5th 15.1 70.7 low 21%
West Gascoyne (district 06)
Carnarvon Airport 32.0 +0.5 41.0 10th 22.4 +0.4 18.1 7th 0 15.8 lowest 0%
Denham 32.0 +1.1 41.4 1st 23.1 +1.3 18.1 6th 0 14.5 lowest 0%
Emu Creek Station 41.5 +3.1 44.4 4th 24.9 +1.1 21.0 31st 6.5 40.4 average 16%
Gascoyne Junction 40.2 +2.7 43.0 3rd 24.3 +1.9 21.3 28th 8.0 29.3 average 27%
Murchison     42.2 3rd 20.3 +0.5 14.5 7th 37.8 35.4 high 107%
Shark Bay Airport 35.1   42.7 1st 21.4   16.8 22nd 0
East Gascoyne (district 07)
Newman Aero 38.2   41.6 5th 23.1   17.2 14th 5.6 40.7 low 14%
Paraburdoo Aero 40.0   42.6 5th 25.9   19.4 20th 40.6 46.2 average 88%
Murchison (district 07A)
Meekatharra Airport 36.1 +1.8 40.7 4th 22.5 +1.2 18.6 6th 1.8 28.1 low 6%
Mount Magnet Aero 35.2   40.5 15th 22.0   16.6 5th 65.0
Paynes Find 35.5 +2.7 41.3 26th 20.6 +2.6 14.3 5th 1.4 25.2 low 6%
North Coast (district 08)
Carnamah     41.6 2nd 18.4 +1.1 13.7 6th 28.3 20.3 high 139%
Dalwallinu 32.8   39.9 3rd 17.5   11.8 5th 60.2
Dalwallinu Comparison 32.9 +1.3 40.0 2nd 17.9 +1.2 12.4 5th 61.4 24.3 high 253%
Eneabba 36.2 +2.8 44.5 1st 19.0 +0.9 14.1 19th 52.9 13.4 v high 395%
Geraldton Airport 32.4 +1.5 41.7 1st 18.4 +0.5 12.6 29th 16.2 16.0 high 101%
Kalbarri 34.1 +1.6 42.3 1st 19.9 +0.9 14.9 18th 0 12.2 lowest 0%
Morawa Airport 35.1   41.6 3rd 19.0   14.2 29th 34.8
Mullewa 35.4 +1.8 40.6 12th 20.0 +1.7 15.7 16th 29.2 19.0 high 154%
North Island 28.9   36.4 1st 21.9   16.5 23rd 0.4
Wongan Hills 32.4 +1.5 40.5 2nd 17.3 +1.0 11.5 5th 55.4 20.3 high 273%
Central Coast (district 09)
Badgingarra Research Stn 32.1 +0.1 40.3 12th 17.6 +1.3 12.5 5th 64.6 16.4 v high 394%
Bickley 28.4   38.5 1st 15.8   10.0 5th 33.6 25.2 high 133%
Champion Lakes 30.1   39.1 12th 18.6   12.4 5th 41.0
Garden Island HSF 27.7   38.8 12th 18.9   14.9 5th 22.8
Gingin Aero 31.5   40.7 12th 16.2   9.9 20th 21.6
Gooseberry Hill 30.3   40.1 12th 17.4   11.3 5th
Gosnells City 31.4   41.5 12th 18.4   12.3 5th 53.2 15.9 v high 335%
Jandakot Aero 30.9   40.8 12th 16.7   10.3 20th 36.6 15.7 high 233%
Jurien Bay 30.5 +1.2 37.6 9th 17.1 +0.6 12.0 29th 44.4 13.9 high 319%
Karnet 28.5 +0.7 37.0 1st 15.5 +1.4 9.0 5th 58.6 24.4 v high 240%
Lancelin 29.9 +1.6 40.5 1st 17.8 +1.1 11.0 5th 52.0 14.4 v high 361%
Medina Research Centre 30.5 +1.3 42.0 12th 17.8 +2.1 11.0 5th 27.8 19.7 high 141%
Pearce RAAF 31.7 +1.3 41.2 12th 17.3 +1.4 10.0 31st 15.0 14.8 average 101%
Perth Airport 31.1 +1.5 41.1 12th 17.4 +1.6 11.6 18th 42.2 16.2 high 260%
Perth Metro 30.2 +0.7 41.0 12th 18.1 +1.7 13.1 20th 40.4 19.4 high 208%
Rottnest Island 26.4 +0.5 37.5 11th 19.5 +1.0 15.1 5th 11.4
Swanbourne 30.0   39.8 12th 18.3   12.5 5th 48.4
South Coast (district 09A)
Albany 23.2 +1.0 37.0 12th 16.5 +1.9 9.3 17th 39.2 38.6 average 102%
Albany Airport 24.7 +0.6 37.8 12th 14.2 +0.8 5.6 17th 39.4 33.4 high 118%
Bridgetown 28.2   38.2 12th 13.1   4.5 17th 8.2
Bridgetown Comparison 28.7 +1.6 38.8 12th 13.6 +2.8 5.5 29th 9.2 26.1 average 35%
Bunbury 28.6   37.6 12th 15.2   7.3 5th 15.8
Busselton 27.6   33.4 1st 14.9   8.7 28th 8.0
Busselton Aero 28.4   36.6 12th 13.9   5.9 28th 5.6
Cape Leeuwin 24.5 +1.9 38.3 12th 18.0 +1.3 13.5 17th 6.8 28.4 low 24%
Cape Naturaliste 25.9 +1.5 33.2 1st 16.3 +1.3 12.1 6th 13.4 22.9 average 59%
Collie East 28.9   37.7 1st 13.2   6.0 5th 21.4
Donnybrook 29.4 +1.5 39.2 12th 15.1 +2.3 5.2 5th 17.2 24.7 average 70%
Dwellingup 28.9 +2.0 38.3 12th 14.4 +1.5 7.6 5th 34.8 26.5 high 131%
Esperance 26.7 +1.6 40.0 24th 16.2 +1.2 11.0 10th 20.4 26.8 average 76%
Esperance Aero 27.1   39.0 15th 15.6   10.1 29th 37.4 30.9 high 121%
Harvey 29.7   39.0 12th 15.8   7.0 5th 11.4
Hopetoun North 25.3   38.6 13th 15.7   8.8 30th 12.2
Jarrahwood 28.7 +1.2 38.0 12th 12.6 +1.1 4.0 29th 9.0 18.9 average 48%
Mandurah 28.6   34.9 1st 19.0   14.2 5th 15.8
Manjimup 26.3 +1.6 38.4 12th 13.9 +1.4 7.9 17th 13.0 30.4 low 43%
North Walpole 24.9   38.5 12th 15.2   8.3 17th 22.0
Pemberton 26.2 +1.8 38.0 12th 14.4 +1.7 8.5 17th 17.1 37.5 low 46%
Rocky Gully 25.4   36.4 12th 13.4   6.6 17th 22.8
Shannon 25.2   37.4 12th 13.5   6.2 17th 16.2
Windy Harbour 24.5 +1.2 38.6 13th     8.3 31st 28.6 31.9 average 90%
Witchcliffe 26.4   36.9 1st 13.3   6.1 29th 10.4
North Central (district 10)
Cunderdin Airfield 32.0   40.8 2nd 16.6   11.1 5th 34.8
Kellerberrin 31.3 +1.1 39.5 2nd 15.8 +0.7 9.8 17th 32.6 20.7 high 157%
Merredin 32.0 +1.8 38.5 2nd 17.7 +1.6 10.6 5th 8.0 20.4 average 39%
Northam 32.0 +1.3 40.8 2nd 16.0 +0.6 10.3 30th 16.2 18.4 average 88%
York 31.5   41.0 2nd 15.0   8.9 30th 32.0
South Central (district 10A)
Beverley 31.4 +0.7 40.4 2nd 16.1 +1.5 9.8 5th 54.8 16.4 v high 334%
Brookton 29.9 +0.5 39.5 2nd 15.8 +1.5 9.7 5th 74.7 17.9 v high 417%
Corrigin 29.7 +0.9 38.7 2nd 16.1 +1.9 10.4 5th 33.2 21.4 high 155%
Hyden 31.4 +1.5 38.5 2nd 15.7 +1.6 9.0 29th 11.9 19.9 average 60%
Jacup 25.6   37.9 2nd 14.1   6.9 17th 45.6
Katanning 26.8   38.3 2nd 14.2   8.2 17th 41.2
Katanning Comparison 27.5 +0.7 38.6 2nd 14.4 +1.8 7.0 29th 46.6 22.4 high 208%
Lake Grace 28.3   37.7 2nd 15.6   8.7 17th 19.2
Lake Grace Comparison 28.3 +0.2 38.0 2nd 15.7 +1.6 9.1 17th 16.6 22.4 average 74%
Narembeen 32.0 +1.8 39.1 2nd 16.5 +1.8 9.6 17th 49.6 20.3 v high 244%
Narrogin 28.2 +0.9 38.4 2nd 15.1 +2.1 8.7 17th 86.5 20.8 v high 416%
Newdegate Research Station 28.4   37.2 2nd 13.9   5.1 17th 19.2 20.9 average 92%
Ongerup 26.0 +0.1 37.6 2nd 14.3 +1.1 7.5 17th 24.8 22.1 average 112%
Pingelly 29.0 +0.7 39.1 2nd 15.6 +1.0 9.2 5th 97.0 17.0 v high 571%
Ravensthorpe 26.9 +0.3 36.8 2nd 14.7 +1.2 7.1 29th 24.0 31.1 average 77%
Wagin 28.3 +0.7 39.1 2nd 14.7 +1.3 6.9 17th 39.8 20.1 high 198%
Eucla (district 11)
Balgair 30.8 +1.6 38.5 25th       8.5 29.1 average 29%
Balladonia 29.2 +1.1 40.1 15th 14.7 +1.2 9.0 30th 15.5 27.0 average 57%
Eucla 26.3 +1.1 39.0 25th 16.6 +0.7 10.0 4th 41.8 22.5 high 186%
Eyre 27.2 +1.5 40.6 15th 15.5 +1.2 4.4 3rd 25.1 26.3 average 95%
Forrest 29.5   38.2 25th 15.3   10.3 3rd 57.0
Red Rocks Point 25.4   37.1 15th 17.5   11.1 14th 31.4
South East (district 12)
Bulga Downs 35.4   41.5 26th 19.1   14.6 6th 27.2 23.8 high 114%
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport 30.5 +1.0 39.4 15th 17.5 +1.5 11.7 5th 32.0 24.2 high 132%
Laverton Aero 32.6   39.9 27th 19.5   14.0 6th 6.6
Leinster Aero 33.7   40.3 27th 20.1   15.7 6th 42.2
Leonora 33.4 +0.7 40.9 27th 19.2 +0.6 14.3 6th 28.4 28.7 high 99%
Leonora Aero 33.1   40.6 27th 19.7   14.6 6th 26.4
Munglinup West 27.2   37.3 13th 14.9   9.4 29th 22.2
Norseman 29.7 +0.9 40.0 15th 15.5 +1.1 9.5 29th 13.1 24.0 average 55%
Norseman Aero 29.6   40.1 15th 15.4   7.7 5th 11.0
Salmon Gums Res.Stn. 28.5 +1.2 40.3 15th 14.4 +1.8 4.3 29th 22.8 24.4 average 93%
Southern Cross Airfield 32.1   39.9 15th 16.6   10.5 5th 9.0
Yeelirrie 34.7 +1.4 40.7 27th 19.1 +0.8 15.0 7th 42.6 31.6 high 135%
North East (district 13)
Balgo Hills 36.6 -0.2 41.9 6th 23.0 -0.5 19.0 14th 44.6 43.3 high 103%
Carnegie 35.5 +1.5 40.1 16th 20.4 +0.4 15.4 7th 4.9 31.5 average 16%
Giles Meteorological Office 33.4 -0.4 38.4 28th 19.9 -0.7 15.3 7th 33.0 35.3 high 93%
Telfer Aero 39.8 +2.4 43.1 5th 25.6 +1.7 22.2 13th 0.2 76.4 v low 0%
Warburton Airfield 34.9 +0.9 39.6 28th 20.8 +0.9 15.9 6th 8.8 29.5 average 30%
Wiluna 35.0 +0.9 39.4 27th     19.4 30th 28.2 35.1 average 80%

Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Western Australia using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Thursday 1 April 2010. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages are long-term means based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 20 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average rain.

The Rank indicates how rainfall this time compares with the climate record for the site, based on the decile ranking (very low rainfall is in decile 1, low in decile 2 or 3, average in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of average shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries